Rank #1: How to Build Mental Toughness (according to a PhD and World Champion)
I invited Simon Marshall, PhD and his wife Lesley Patterson to talk about practical strategies for building confidence, reducing pre-race anxiety, and managing fears.
Their new book The Brave Athlete is a handbook for the athlete's brain, showing you how to:
- Resist the urge to quit
- Embrace difficulty
- Respond positively to setbacks
- Build confidence and self-belief
- Cope better with stress and anxiety
This husband and wife team is quite the duo. Simon is former professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of San Diego and a professor of sport and exercise psychology at San Diego State University.
Currently, he's the performance psychologist for BMC Racing - a World Tour professional cycling team.
His wife Lesley Patterson is a dominant triathlete, having won three world off-road triathlon champions and an Ironman Triathlon. A professional mountain biker, she's also a former national champion in cross country.
And I think all of us get how important our brain is to our running.
How many times have you been halfway through a long run and dreaded every step?
How many races have you wished in hindsight that you had sucked it up and ran harder instead of settling?
It's happened to me more times than I can count. And it happens to world-class athletes (like Lesley, which we talk about) all the time, too.
This podcast will show you how to turn your brain into an asset, rather than a liability.
Jun 25 2017
Rank #2: Episode 29: Ask the Registered Dietitian: Booze, Healthy Snacks, and Low Iron
What we put into our bodies has a profound impact on our ability to train effectively.
In short, if you care about you running, you have to care about your eating habits.
And I've brought a Registered Dietitian on the SR Podcast to help.
Over the last few weeks, I've surveyed the Strength Running Twitter and Facebook communities about dieting, weight loss, nutrition, and race fueling.
I collected about a dozen of the best questions and got my friend Anne Mauney to help me answer them for you.
Anne worked with me to create one of SR's flagship programs, Nutrition for Runners.
She's one of the busiest RD's I know with a private practice in Washington, DC and a popular lifestyle blog. She also gives healthy eating presentations and workshops to organizations like Whole Foods.
Her work has been featured in Glamour, Self, The Washington Post, and Fitness Magazine. When she's not helping athletes improve their diets, she's usually running around DC or tackling yet another half marathon.
There are also two more Q&A podcasts that we did together - download them here for free.
On this episode, we cover a lot of questions:
- What foods fight inflammation? What foods increase iron levels?
- Is it ok to drink alcohol while you're training for a race?
- What's an optimal pre-marathon fueling strategy?
- Are carbs from bread or pasta "better" than those from starchy vegetables?
- What are your favorite healthy snack ideas?
Jun 20 2017
Rank #3: Episode 47: Ideal Strength Training for Runners
Cross-training is supplemental exercise that can be helpful to your running, like cycling.
But just like form drills, strides, or dynamic flexibility exercises, I consider strength training to be an integral part of how to train distance runners.
If you’re not strength training, then you’re not training.
Running by itself only gets you so far. It’s a fairly one-dimensional form of exercise, after all.
If you look at how pro runners train (hell, even high school runners), you’ll see a lot of “other things” in their training:
- Form drills
- Bodyweight strength workouts
- Barefoot work
- Skill-based strength exercises (like Olympic lifts)
- Dynamic flexibility routines
Whoever said runners just ran?!
All of this extra training makes you stronger, more efficient, and flexible with higher levels of coordination.
In other words, you become a better athlete. Because you’re not a runner – you’re an athlete that specializes in running.
I wanted to dive into the topic of strength training in more detail so you know what to do – and how to do it – to become a faster and less injury-prone runner.
Dec 19 2017
Rank #4: Episode 42: Easy vs. Marathon Pace, Goal Setting, and More Q&A with Coach Mario Fraioli
The best runners know when to get help and work together.
If you're a Lone Wolf, some things are inevitable:
- Have a question? Prepare to spend hours going down the Google rabbit hole...
- Feeling unmotivated? Sorry, you're on your own.
- Not sure how to break through your plateau? Time to "try everything!"
But the runners who get the support, guidance, and camaraderie they need always seem to reach their goals.
Which one are you?
Today, my friend Mario Fraioli is joining me on the podcast to help me answer your toughest questions and give you the support needed to reach new levels of performance.
Mario and I competed against each other in college (he always beat me) while he was at Stonehill and I was at Connecticut College.
After graduation, he dove headfirst into the running industry. Some of his notable achievements:
- Author of The Official Rock 'n Roll Guide to Marathon & Half Marathon Training
- Senior Editor, Competitor Magazine
- Founding Coach of Ekiden Coaching
- Owner of personal bests ranging from 4:09 in the mile to 2:28 in the marathon
- Coach to the 2012 Costa Rican Men's Olympic Marathon Team
Today, his main project is The Morning Shakeout, a weekly newsletter of commentary and thoughts on running, culture, writing, and media.
Despite his coaching, writing, and training duties, Mario made time to help members of the Strength Running community with their running questions.
Oct 23 2017
Rank #5: Episode 48: Strength Coach Randy Hauer on The Role of Lifting for Runners
I've fielded hundreds of lifting questions from runners who all want to know, "How do I lift the right way?"
It's a great question. In fact, it's THE question!
Knowing how to lift properly will:
- Save you a lot of wasted time
- Give you the actual results you want
- Reduce your injury risk
But without knowing WHY runners should lift then it's impossible to answer HOW runners should lift.
Do runners need to build strength? Or power? Or neuromuscular coordination? When is the right time to work on each skill?
- Can kettlebell work be added into a lifting program for runners? If so, how?
- Are CrossFit or other HIIT sessions appropriate? If so, when?
- Should trail runners lift the same way as road runners?
Clearly, this is a complex topic!
Thankfully, we're featuring a top strength coach on the podcast to answer all of your questions about lifting for runners.
You'll recognize Randy Hauer as the strength coach behind the programming of High Performance Lifting - our step-by-step lifting program for runners.
Randy has over 30 years of strength and conditioning experience in a wide variety of disciplines and training styles:
- Olympic Weightlifting
- Sports performance coaching
- Personal training
- Kettlebell training
He uses insights from these experiences to develop world-class programming for pro runners in Boulder, Colorado. He works directly with some of Brad Hudson's Hudson Elite team members.
In High Performance Lifting, Randy brings runners through a comprehensive 16-week strength program that periodizes strength training so runners will get strong, powerful, and (most importantly) faster.
And today he's answering the most common questions we've received over the last few weeks:
- HIIT / CrossFit training for runners
- When you should lift (Before or after running? Off days? Hard days?)
- Soreness from lifting weights
- Trail runners and lifting
- Mobility and movement fluency
- Is HPL just for "fast" runners?
- Is it right for older runners 50+? What about high school aged kids?
Jan 24 2018
Rank #6: Episode 58: Superfoods, Veganism & Fasting: A Registered Dietitian’s Perspective
Heather Caplan is a Registered Dietitian, certified running coach, and host of the RD Real Talk Podcast.
She’s also the former Head of Nutrition and Coaching at tech startup Spright, Inc. She’s also worked in corporate wellness coaching and public health nutrition counseling.
Her work has been featured in national media such as Runner’s World, The Washington Post, Women’s Running, Outside Online, and others.
Heather is on the podcast today to answer YOUR nutrition questions:
- Are superfoods legit?
- What’s her hot take on fasting and the vegan diet?
- How much meat is too much?
- Can nutrition play a role in injury prevention?
- And more!
This is a very wide-ranging discussion based on your answers to my Twitter question here. If you like this format of podcast, we have two more you can download here!
May 01 2018
Rank #7: Episode 32: Find Your Best Stride with Jonathan Beverly
Jonathan Beverly was the editor-in-chief of Running Times for 15 years. He’s run nearly 30 marathons and hundreds of road and trail races around the world.
He’s also coached with the New York Road Runners Club, taught several college running classes, and has coached junior and high school track and cross country since 2003.
Jonathan’s new book quickly became one of my favorites. Your Best Stride: How to Optimize Your Natural Running Form to Run Easier, Farther, and Faster – with Fewer Injuries is a holistic look at how to run with better form.
He does not promote a certain brand of form (like Chi or POSE).
He won’t make you run on your forefoot (that’s a big no-no).
And he isn’t even gung-ho about “cues” that make you run slightly differently.
Instead, the goal is to bring you back to when you were 10 years old. Remember back then? If not, just know that you ran with a lot better form back then.
Jonathan is on the podcast today to discuss how to reclaim your youthful, smooth, powerful stride.
Jul 12 2017
Rank #8: Episode 100: Body Care, Mobility, and Recovery with Alex Ellis
Alexandra Ellis is a polymath, having studied and worked in many different areas of exercise science, fitness, and coaching.
She has a degree in Exercise Biology and has amassed nearly 1,000 hours of yoga training. Alex also has additional education in:
- Human Dissection (of course, this was the first thing we talked about)
- CrossFit Mobility
- Movement education with Sarah Court, DPT
- Regeneration Techniques workshop completion through NSCA
As you can see, she has experiences that most coaches would envy (human dissection and NSCA training in particular).
And I'm always looking for new perspectives that will help us improve our running. Alex delivers in a fun episode that highlights her knowledge about the body, movement, recovery, and injuries.
In this conversation, we discuss:
- What did she learn from dissecting human cadavers?
- The physiological, biomechanical, and behavioral aspects of her Exercise Biology degree
- What she learned from CrossFit Mobility that will help runners
- How to incorporate a daily mobility practice into your life
- The pros and cons of different massage tools (foam rollers, lacrosse balls, and even Graston tools)
- How to prevent and treat rolled ankles
- What she means when she says, "If stretching ain't helping, start building strength."
To celebrate our 100th episode, I invite you to take a short (3-question) survey to help us make it better. I really appreciate it.
Jun 24 2019
Rank #9: Episode 50: Running 101: How I think about training runners to race faster
Two years ago, I was interviewed for an event called The Running Summit. I spoke about wide-ranging topics:
- How I started running
- My injury prevention philosophy
- The biggest areas of improvement for runners
- Strength training do's and don'ts
- Warm-ups and cross-training
- My favorite aspects of coaching
- How running "scales"
- My favorite running authors
- The two principles of sound form you must remember
- Who benefits from getting a coach?
- How to build your mileage more safely than the 10% rule
- Why 'Run Less, Run Faster' fails as a training methodology
- and a lot more!
As you can see, we went DEEP on running and touched on nearly every important element of sound training.
This is an audio recording of our interview where you'll be able to glean insights from my experience as a runner, coach, and a coached athlete.
Feb 06 2018
Rank #10: Episode 71: A Step-by-Step Guide to Tempo Runs
Tempo runs are beneficial for virtually every runner – from milers to marathoners, tempos are nearly ubiquitous.
Of course, they’re a staple for longer distance runners training for the marathon and beyond.
If you’re not familiar with this type of workout, there are three popular definitions:
1. Comfortably hard. A pace that’s faster than “moderate” but not exactly “hard.” If you have a high training age and prefer running by feel or perceived effort, this may be the most helpful definition for you.
2. The pace you could race for an hour. For some runners, their tempo pace is similar to or about the same as their 10k pace.
This definition is best used for more advanced runners.
3. 85-90% of maximum heart rate. If you train by heart rate (learn how to calculate your max heart rate here), this is a valuable way to ensure you’re in the right range for your tempo run.
More scientifically inclined runners know that tempo workouts are run at or near your lactate threshold. This is the pace at which you’re producing the maximum amount of lactate that your body can clear from your muscles and blood stream.
In other words, tempo runs are done at lactate threshold which is the fastest you can still run aerobically.
Sep 13 2018
Rank #11: Episode 112: Train Your Mind: How to Get Mentally Fit with Dr. Marc Bubbs
Dr. Marc Bubbs, ND, CISSN, CSCS is a former strength coach and the current Performance Nutrition Lead for Canada Basketball.
He's written the new book Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That is Revolutionizing Sports that discusses:
- The microbiome and how to resolve gut problems
- Sleep hygiene and circadian rhythms
- Endurance nutrition and refueling
- Emotions and mindset
He regularly presents at health and medical conferences around the world and has consulted with the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL professional sports leagues in the United States.
On the Strength Running Podcast, we're discussing a host of issues related to mastering your mindset:
- How to use mindfulness to improve your running
- Mindfulness tips & tricks (not so easy in today's social media culture)
- Strategies for addressing negative self-talk
- How mental and emotional health drives performance
- Easy ways to get started with sports psychology concepts
Oct 10 2019
Rank #12: Episode 56: How to Balance Running in Your Life, with Keira D'Amato
In reality, we have to make time and shuffle our schedules to accommodate all of our responsibilities:
- Kids and family
- Work and professional obligations
- Social events
- Sleep? Maybe?
It's no easy feat to train well, work, have a family, and find some free time to read or have fun.
I remember back to one of the most challenging times of my life: the year after college when I had a 75-minute commute and a 9-hour work day.
That meant I was running 80-85 miles per week at 5:30am in the dark, in the freezing winter of Massachusetts. I had no time to do anything besides work, run, and ensure I slept 8 hours a night.
Now that I have a family, that's not a possibility. Hard decisions have to be made...
To help with those tough decisions, I want to introduce you to Keira D'Amato.
She was a 4-time All-American at American University in Washington, DC, specializing in events ranging from the 5k to cross country.
After college, she worked for years as the marketing director for Potomac River Running and today she's the "running realtor" for the northern Virginia and DC areas.
But she never quit running. Just last month, she won the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Washington, DC.
Keira is running after the Olympic Trials marathon standard of 2:45 - and she's close with her 2:47 PR!
Oh, and she's married with two kids...
In this conversation, we discuss:
- the many roles she's had in the running industry
- what she's learned about runners from being so involved in the sport
- her marathon progression from nearly 4 hours to 2:47 (!!)
- how her current training has gone and her strategy to get the OTQ
- how she manages to train at an elite level with a job and a family
Apr 17 2018
Rank #13: Episode 113: 3 Elite Runners on Fueling for Workouts, Long Runs, and Races
Today you’re going to hear from three Ultramarathoners on how they fuel for races, what their post long run fueling looks like, and how things might be different if they were training for shorter races.
It’s helpful to study ultramarathoners when it comes to fueling, even if you have no interest in running ultra distances, because it’s here that fueling becomes virtually as important as the training itself. It doesn’t matter how fit you are if you don’t fuel well as an ultra runner...
We’re doing this today because we’re celebrating the relaunch of our fueling program Finish Strong. I’ve added new material, updated our fueling schedules, included more expert interviews, and there’s now an extra discount for Tailwind Nutrition. You can see all the details of Finish Strong here.
Abby Hall placed 8th at CCC earlier this year (which is known as UTMB’s sister race). Anna Mae Flynn won the Speedgoat 50k this year and Abby Levene placed 9th at this year’s Way Too Cool 50k.
I’m going to ask all three of these athletes the same 3 questions:
- How do you fuel during an ultramarathon? Give us an overview of what that looks like.
- When you finish a long run, what does your post-run fueling look like?
- How would you fuel different for workouts and long runs if you were training for a shorter event like, say a 10k?
Oct 23 2019
Rank #14: Episode 57: The Complete Guide to Hill Workouts
Running uphill (against gravity) stresses your body in a unique way that you can’t mimic on flat land.
That stress results in some fantastic adaptations and benefits:
- There’s less impact running uphill so it’s easier on your joints and connective tissues
- Hills “force” you to run with better form, reinforcing a more efficient stride
- Running up steep grades builds power more safely than running fast on flat terrain
- Hills provide the most specific strength work runners could ask for
- Hill workouts build strength, speed, endurance, VO2 Max, and every other metric runners care about!
While hill sessions aren’t too race-specific (unless you’re training for an entirely uphill race), they have a valuable place in any training program.
This episode discusses these benefits, when hills should be incorporated into your season, my 3 favorite types of hill workouts, and the type of runner who will benefit most from hills.
Apr 26 2018
Rank #15: Episode 79: How a Physical Therapist (and 2:24 Marathoner) Prevents Injuries
Verrelle Wyatt is a 2:24 marathoner, 4:18 miler, and an Athletic Hall of Famer for his high school. He received his doctoral degree in Physical Therapy from Walsh University in Ohio.
He has two medical licenses in both Physical Therapy and Sports Physical Therapy in addition to being certified as both a Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES).
In this conversation, we discuss a lot:
- His experience working with Cirque du Soleil athletes
- How having a doctoral degree in PT has informed his running
- The training that led Verrelle to a 2:24 marathon
- How to avoid the common injury mistakes that land runners in his office
This episode is an excerpt from our full conversation for Team Strength Running, Strength Running's affordable group coaching program.
Dec 03 2018
Rank #16: Episode 63: The Beginner's Guide to Running Your First Marathon with Angie and Trevor Spencer
Angie and Trevor Spencer are the hosts of the Marathon Training Academy podcast and have helped thousands of runners over the years successfully run their first marathons.
Angie ran her first marathon in 2008, promptly got injured, but turned things around in a big way: since then, she's run 51 marathons and 4 ultras with not a single injury (!). A Registered Nurse, she also has USATF-Level 1 and RRCA-Level 2 coaching certifications.
Trevor followed in his wife's footsteps and went from couch potato to marathoner in just a few short years. After his first marathon in 2011, he's since completed 14 marathons, 15 half marathons, and a Spartan Trifecta.
They've both joined me on the podcast to talk about the subject of "Couch to Marathon" or how to:
- Transition from sedentary to marathon with as little injury risk as possible
- Differentiate between training to finish vs. training for performance
- Marathon training mistakes that are common among beginners
Every year, about a half a million runners finish a marathon in the United States (and most of them - nearly all of them - aren't elite athletes blessed with marathon-friendly genetics).
The marathon can be conquered. Success over 26.2 miles just needs a more strategic plan than your neighborhood 5k.
This is how you do it.
Jun 18 2018
Rank #17: Episode 28: Running Q&A Grab Bag with Coach Doug Hay
But sometimes, life gets in the way. I simply don't have the time to answer all of your questions - especially when a single SR email goes out to about 80,000 runners...
That does not, however, mean I'm not paying attention.
In fact, I often save your running questions to get to them later. And that's exactly what we're doing today.
Joining me as the SR Podcast's first co-host is my friend, fellow coach, and ultra runner Doug Hay.
Fresh off his sub-15hr run at the Ultra Run of Champions (snagging him a sweet belt buckle!), Doug is helping us get to the bottom of some of your toughest questions.
Let's dive in.
Jun 05 2017
Rank #18: Episode 98: Chris McClung of Rogue Running on Training Theory
Today's podcast episode features one of the lead coaches for Rogue Running, a massive running group in Austin, Texas.
After discovering the Running Rogue podcast and learning more about the group, I instantly recognized Chris McClung as a thoughtful coach who truly "gets" training (he's not going to tell you to run less, run faster...).
In this conversation, we focus on three key areas:
- How he learned to be a great coach
- The training theory and principles that influence his coaching
- The role of community and how that impacts your performance
This episode is an excerpt from Team Strength Running, our group coaching program that connects you to me as your coach, a team of your peers, and a new monthly expert interview.
Sign up here to get notified the next time we open!
Jun 06 2019
Rank #19: Episode 106: Listen to a Coaching Call About Running Your First Half Marathon
What you’re about to listen to is a coaching call where we talk about Riley’s running background, the types of training he has experience with, and how he can structure the next 4 months of his running to not only finish his first half, but also race it well.
Riley is a member of Team Strength Running, the most affordable virtual coaching group you can join. These behind the scenes coaching call opportunities are only available to team members so if you’d like to learn more about the team, just sign up and I’ll send you more details. I think you’re really going to like it.
Riley and I are also going to talk about the enviable position he’s in right now (you’ll notice how excited I am for Riley because of where he’s at in his life), the types of long runs and workouts that work great for the half marathon, and the obstacles he must avoid this fall if he’s going to stay healthy and run his first marathon.
Aug 20 2019
Rank #20: Episode 89: Meb Keflezighi: The Molding of a Distance Runner
Meb's legacy is cemented as a world-class runner: he's the 2004 Olympic Marathon silver medalist, winner of the 2009 New York City Marathon and 2014 Boston Marathon, and 4-time Olympian.
He's also the author of three books guaranteed to get your competitive juices flowing:
- Run to Overcome: The Inspiring Story of an American Champion's Long-Distance Quest to Achieve a Big Dream
- Meb for Mortals: How to Run, Think, and Eat Like a Champion Marathoner
- 26 Marathons: What I've Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life From Each Marathon I've Run
Perhaps more impactful is his approach to the sport of distance running and the marathon. Free from any personal scandal, Meb is a true ambassador to running. In 2017, he was recognized as an 'Outstanding American by Choice' by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
He's also run 26 marathons over the course of his decades long career. And anybody who has completed that many marathons at a world-class level has a lot to share.
In this conversation, Meb and I have a wide-ranging conversation about:
- His childhood in Eritrea and how it prepared him for distance running
- The surprises he learned when running his first marathon
- Why cross-training is so valuable for him
- How running has prepared him for setbacks in his personal life
- When running is particularly hard for Meb
We also talk about his new book 26 Marathons and the many lessons he's learned from each of the 26 marathons he's run over the last two decades.
Finally, I ended our conversation with a simple question ahead of next month's Boston Marathon: If you could talk to the entire field at Boston as they lined up in Hopkinton, what advice would you have for them?
Mar 21 2019